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Page last updated at 18:57 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 19:57 UK

Captain Ryan Jones rallies Wales after New Zealand loss

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones won just his 42nd Welsh cap against New Zealand

Ryan Jones has challenged his battered Wales team to show character as Warren Gatland's men prepare for their second shot at New Zealand.

Wales were demolished 42-9 in Dunedin on Saturday and skipper Jones demands a positive reaction for Saturday's second Test with the All Blacks in Hamilton.

"It is about picking ourselves up as we have to improve quickly," Jones said.

"We have to show a bit of character for next week. It is about getting physically and mentally right."

Wales coach Warren Gatland insists he will take Jones and his colleagues into "lockdown" in a bid to galvanise the bruised Welsh spirit following Saturday's five tries to nil defeat at the aptly named 'House of Pain' in Carisbrook's final Test.

Wales have only beaten a southern hemisphere superpower - New Zealand, Australia or South Africa - on their own patch once when the Welsh beat the Aussies 19-16 in Sydney in June 1969.

I don't think the physical gulf is there anymore

Wales captain Ryan Jones

The Welsh have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953 and have never beaten the Kiwis in New Zealand.

But Jones insists his Wales squad will "not give up" as they step up their preparation in arguably the most difficult country to tour ahead of next autumn's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Wales have often stated they need to play and compete with the best on a consistent basis to be seriously considered as a world force.

And New Zealand and their fly-half master Dan Carter, who enjoyed a 27-point haul, gave Wales another rugby football lesson on Saturday.

Now Gatland has told his players they "must learn from and improve" before Saturday's second Test.

"We'll wait to see the character of the individuals and team alike," said a deflated Jones after their Dunedin defeat.

"I thought we were superb in the first-half and gave ourselves a chance but we got pumped in the second-half.

"They were able to capitalise on our mistakes and we were unable to capitalise on theirs - that was the gist of it.

"Now we're in much the same position as we were two years ago out in South Africa when we got mauled in the first Test and improved for the second."

Gatland admitted he was "a little embarrassed" after his 2008 Grand Slam winners were crushed 43-17 by world champions South Africa in the first Test in Bloemfontein.

Wales rallied and lost just 37-21 in an improved second Test showing against the Springboks in Pretoria.

And skipper Jones, who will win his 43rd cap in Hamilton, insists sides like the feared All Blacks do not boast the physical stranglehold that they once did.

606: DEBATE
Ospreydragon

But the 29-year-old has told his Welsh charges, boasting a pride of British and Irish Lions, to adopt a ruthless and winning mentality against such clinical opposition.

"We are okay physically," said the Ospreys captain. "But when a team goes points up, keeps the ball in hand and play the way they did it becomes incredibly difficult.

"I don't think the physical gulf is there anymore.

"It is more about being technically accurate and having the top two inches - and that is something we can address this week."



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see also
Gatland takes positives from loss
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Biggar takes Wales fly-half reins
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New Zealand 42-9 Wales
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Wales' NZ tour in photos
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New Zealand 66-28 Ireland
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Wales 31-34 South Africa
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Wales suffer Powell injury blow
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South Africa 37-21 Wales
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South Africa 43-17 Wales
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Wales' rugby fixtures
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Wales rugby results archive
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All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Country profile: New Zealand
28 Nov 11 |  Country profiles
BBC Sport Wales coverage
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